An article by the Christian Science Monitor interviewing her son, Phillip Leakey, on her parenting style and growing up at dig sites.
Check out the Leakey Foundation for the work her supporters continue to carry out.
An article by the Christian Science Monitor interviewing her son, Phillip Leakey, on her parenting style and growing up at dig sites.
Check out the Leakey Foundation for the work her supporters continue to carry out.
In light of recent events occurring nationwide associated with gun-related violence in schools, the American Anthropological Association (AAA) has released the following statement on gun violence on behalf of the Association’s more than 11,000 members.
American Anthropological Association Statement on Gun Violence
The tragic events at Sandy Hook Elementary and Taft Union High School, the latest in an escalating series of mass shootings, remind us that gun violence is a major cause of death in the United States. Every year over 30,000 Americans are killed by guns. This is only slightly less than the number killed in car crashes and accidental poisonings (including drug overdoses). The abundance of guns in the U.S. also poses problems for neighboring countries. Since it is necessary to understand a problem in order to solve it, there is an urgent need for research by social scientists, public health experts and others into the relationship between guns and public safety and into measures that might reduce the number of lives lost to gun-related violence every year. The U.S. has a long history of public funding for research in the general interest – on agricultural innovation, public health, and product safety, for example.
Unfortunately, in 1996 the U.S. Congress defunded research on gun safety and gun injury at the Centers for Disease Control. It subsequently imposed constraints on research on guns and public health sponsored by the National Institutes for Health. Far from fostering a better understanding of gun deaths, the U.S. government seems to be actively impeding it.
Therefore we call upon the Congress and the Administration to rescind measures that obstruct the development of empirical knowledge about guns and public safety. Further, we call on the Congress and the Administration to make additional federal funds available, as an urgent national priority, for rigorous peer-reviewed research by experts from diverse disciplinary backgrounds to investigate ways of reducing the tragic loss of life in incidents involving guns.
Today’s guest blog post is by AAA member Robert (Bob) Muckle. Robert (Bob) Muckle is based at Capilano University in British Columbia. His most recent book is Indigenous Peoples of North America: A Concise Anthropological Overview (University of Toronto Press, 2012). He also writes a column called ‘Archeology in North America’ for Anthropology News and is on Twitter @bobmuckle.
January 11th, 2013 is likely be the most important day in recent decades for the Indigenous Peoples of Canada, with potentially global implications. It has to do with the movement known as Idle No More.
Idle No More began in late 2012 as a grassroots movement among the more the one million people claiming Indigenous ancestry in Canada, culminating primarily from what is perceived to be an ongoing erosion of their rights, lands, and resources. The movement has largely been peaceful, including hundreds of events including flashmob roundances at shopping malls, rallies, media campaigns, and a handful of blockades. It has been a dominant story in Canadian media since mid-December and there have been dozens of events supporting the movement by Native Americans in the US.
January 11th is important because (i) members of the Assembly of First Nations (AFN), representing the interests of the more than 600 First Nations in Canada, and the organization the government prefers to work with, are meeting with the Prime Minister of Canada and the Governor General (the Queen’s representative) to discuss concerns of First Nations; and (ii) many of those participating in Idle No More movement are wary of representation by the AFN, and at least partially in response to the meetings have declared the day to be a ‘Day of Global Action’ with well over 100 events scheduled in support throughout the U.S. and elsewhere.
While Indigenous rights are front and center, there is much more of interest that is being underplayed by government and mainstream media. One thing that is rarely mentioned is that the movement is giving voice to a many thousands of Indigenous Peoples of Canada, especially those who have been frustrated with the actions of their own nation’s chiefs and councils or national representation (ie. AFN) at addressing the wrongs imposed upon them through hundred of years of oppression. Although Idle No More claims to have no official leadership, leaders are emerging and they tend to be young (ie. 20s and 30s), smart, articulate, and dynamic. And, not unimportantly, many of them are women.
Social media has been fundamentally important in the movement. Twitter has been used to quickly organize events and share media. One of many Facebook pages devoted to the movement has more than 65,000 likes. Organizers and supporters use social media for live townhall-type meetings.
There has been considerable emphasis in mainstream media about a hunger strike by one chief that began on December 11th. While for many she has come to symbolize the movement, she is not a founder or acknowledged spokesperson. The January 11th meeting with the Prime Minister and Governor General was one of her demands.
There is significant support for Idle No More among non-Indigenous peoples. In addition to recognizing the erosion of Indigenous rights and resources, many view the movement as perhaps the best way of protecting the environment. An immediate goal of the movement is to withdraw or amend legislation reducing the protection of the environment, which many Canadian would like to see. Other goals are for the government to uphold constitutional and other rights as they apply to Indigenous peoples, including meaningful consultation. An ultimate goal is to have truly nation-to-to nation relationships with the federal government.
Other things I have seen arise out of the movement is a strengthening of relationships between the First Nations in Canada, and through their support, with Native Americans of the US as well as Indigenous groups elsewhere. I see a strengthening of relationships between First Nations and non-First Nations people in many circumstances through their shared common purposes of protecting the environment and righting the wrongs of past governments.
I see First Nations taking the opportunity through media, flashmob dances, and rallies to educate others and assert control over vocabulary. Words such as decolonialization and settler (as opposed to non-Indigenous or Euro-Canadian) are increasing in usage.
Unfortunately, I also see much racism and ignorance, especially when reading the comments following media stories.
I’m not sure what is going to happen on January 11th. It is an important day for the AFN. For the past few years their relationship with the federal government has been viewed by many as being too cozy. If the AFN wants to retain relevance within First Nations communities, they will have to make some kind of significant stand in their meeting with the government that will be pleasing to those preferring the grassroots Idle No More movement. This will be hard.
I think the amount of support demonstrated by the Idle No More movements within Canada, the US, and elsewhere will be fundamentally important. If there is relatively little support, I think the movement will fizzle. If the support is significant, however, look for the movement to escalate further, into the United States and perhaps elsewhere.
Filed under: Advocacy, Anthro in the Media, Commentary, Events and Exhibits | Tagged: @bobmuckle, Archeology, Assembly of First Nations, Capilano University, grassroots movements, hunger strike, Idle No More, indigenous ancestry, indigenous issues, Indigenous People of Canada, Indigenous People of North America, indigenous rights, Robert Muckle | 5 Comments »
As the Spike TV show American Diggers goes international, AAA Executive Board Member, Sandra L. Lopez Varela has a special request in today’s guest blog post.
The American Anthropological Association is supporting the petition of our fellow Spanish archaeologists to stop the airing of “Un Tesoro Bajo Tus Pies”, through Discovery MAX: http://www.change.org/es/peticiones/discovery-max-que-se-retire-el-programa-un-tesoro-bajo-tus-pies
This television series is the translated version into Spanish of “American Diggers”, produced by Spike TV, and that the AAA, along with other professional organizations, strongly opposed to, back in March of this year, as it wrongly represents archaeology as a treasure-seeking adventure. Committed to the scientific stewardship of the past, the AAA has sent letters to the corporate and international management of Discovery Enterprises inviting them to follow up the example given by National Geographic Channel and to initiate a similar dialogue with professional associations and archaeologists to promote an educated depiction of archaeology. But above all, the AAA has expressed its deep concerns about the potential looting and subsequent illegal trade that Discovery Communications are promoting around the world by airing “American Diggers” internationally, through their affiliated sister networks. We invite you to support this initiative and increase the voices expressing that the content of “American Diggers” is contrary to the ethics of archaeological practice.
Sandra L. Lopez Varela, Ph.D., RPA
Archaeology Seat, Executive Board of the American Anthropological Association
Filed under: Anthro in the Media, Association Business | Tagged: AAA President Leith Mullings, American Diggers, Antiquities Act of 1906, Archaeological Resources Protection Act of 1979, Discovery Communications, Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act of 1990, Sandra L. Lopez Varela, Spike TV, UNESCO | 3 Comments »
Yesterday writer Mary Jo Melone wrote an op-ed piece in The Miami Herald in response, or lack there of, by Governor Rick Scott of Florida and the recent findings by forensic anthropologists at the Dozier School for Boys. The piece, entitled Gov. Scott, anthropology and Dozier School for Boys is below:
When it comes to bad news, the truth is always inconvenient. And so it was last week, when forensic anthropologists from the University of South Florida reported on the expanding horrors at the now-shuttered Dozier School for Boys in Marianna, where, in the state’s name, boys in trouble were sent for over a century.
The anthropologists found that 96 children and two adults died, including two 6-year-olds. Fifty graves have been found on the property, not the 31 that the Florida Department of Law Enforcement (FDLE) reported two years ago. Nothing remarkable about its number, FDLE said then.
Hooey, said the men who still bear the scars of being there.
Agriculture Secretary Adam Putnam has asked the FDLE to review the anthropologists’ claims and report to the governor and the Cabinet.
Although the Juvenile Justice Department has said it will cooperate further with the University of South Florida researchers — who suspect the existence of a second burial ground at Dozier — the current occupant of the governor’s mansion has been silent as a stone on the subject.
It may be that Gov. Rick Scott still doesn’t understand that much of a governor’s most important work is symbolic, and that it is vital that the man who represents the state represent its highest moral standards in both action and speech.
Or it could be that Gov. Scott knows that if he speaks about the University of South Florida investigators’ findings about Dozier, he’ll get tongue-tied when it’s time to utter the word anthropology.
Last year, the governor complained about how useless the subject was. He was talking about his desire to shift state university spending away from the liberal arts and put the money into science, technology, engineering and math — the so-called STEM fields — because that’s where he believes all the jobs are.
“Is it a vital interest of the state to have more anthropologists?” Scott asked. “I don’t think so.”
There has been much speculation that the governor singled out anthropology because his daughter holds an undergraduate degree in the field. Perhaps he disapproved and extended his ideas of being a dad and of pleasing a dad to state policy.
Whatever it was, Scott earned the wrath of the American Anthropological Association and anthropology faculty across the state.
Moreover, what came off as his disdain for the liberal arts in general created fear over the future of liberal arts.
Those are the so-called mushy fields, like history, English and psychology, in which people reflect on who we are and what and where we’ve been — on other words, on the human condition.
It’s a subject that also affects the governor, who sometimes needs to be reminded of his own humanity. (Remember testing welfare recipients for drugs?)
Now the University of South Florida department website includes a video response to the governor, in which numerous graduate students detail the kind of work they do in all kinds of fields: healthcare for veterans and farm workers, attendance at state parks, homicide investigations, consumer use of technology, and, the grad students said, the development of statistics he has used to support his argument on behalf of STEM education.
With the Dozier investigation, you could also argue that anthropologists peer into the darkest corners of the human experience and Florida history.
Gov. Scott probably won’t send anthropologists any more money. However, given the work the anthropologists did at Dozier, at least he should send the researchers at the University of South Florida a thank-you note.
Mary Jo Melone, a former columnist with the Tampa Bay Times, is a writer in Tampa.
To read the original article, visit The Miami Herald.
A cluster of teen-agers gathered around a small table, and passersby could hear them exclaim, “Asian! Yeah, I knew it!” and “Aryan? That seems ridiculous.” They hovered over two iPads in the Grand Gallery of the Museum of Natural History during the Margaret Mead Film Festival, playing a game called “Guess My Race.” It was one of five video games in the Mead Arcade; the others included “The Cat and the Coup,” which traces the downfall of Iran’s first democratically elected Prime Minister, Mohammad Mossadegh, and “Sweatshop,” in which you hire and fire workers for your loathsome factory.
Aiding the swarms of museum patrons who stopped to play were volunteers from Games for Change, a New York City-based nonprofit that encourages the development of what it calls “social-impact games.” (All of the games at the arcade are also available for free through the organization’s Web site.) I sat down at a laptop to try my hand at running a sweatshop. To a bouncy techno soundtrack, the boss floor manager, who keenly evoked Hitler, spewed insults and directions—”Lazybones! How are you today? Shh-h-h-h. I don’t care!”—and the orders started pouring in for shoes, shirts, hats, and bags.
I selected an adult worker, rather than a child, to box up hats on the assembly line, and asked the volunteer, “Do you find that most people choose children to work?
To read the entire article click here.
Today’s guest blog post is by Dr. Inga Treitler of Anthropology Imagination LLC.
EPIC 2012 featured a wide range of ethnographic applications in industry, policy making and design, with contributions from Asia, Latin America, Europe, and North America. Contributions in Savannah spoke to the theme of renewal based on experiences in different contexts (academia, business, NGO, government), different industries (technology, healthcare, consumer goods, advertising) and different purposes (product innovation, strategy, collaboration, communications, policy making).
Over the years, in the interest of expanding and promoting an ongoing conversation beyond the conference event, we have experimented with different media for capturing the ideas in different formats. This year thanks to the highly energetic and creative team of local supporters we have made our first foray into building a video library, which includes selected presenters as well as Emily Pilloton’s inspirational keynote. For the second year running, we have a hearty set of podcast papers, thanks to SapientNitro and to our podcast editor, Thomas Wingo. And as every year, EPICs papers, workshops, artifacts, papers and transcribed keynotes are collected in the edited proceedings to be found at AnthroSource.
Happy listening, happy viewing, happy reading, and above all happy thinking and doing. And please… submit your contributions and join us next year in London.
Filed under: Anthro in the Media, Events and Exhibits, Resources | Tagged: AnthroSource, Dr. Inga Treitler, Emily Pilloton, EPIC 2012, Ethnographic Praxis in Industry Conference, Savannah College of Art and Design, SpientNitro, Thomas Wingo | Comments Off
Dr Dimitris Dalakoglou (U Sussex) explains the social meltdown which took place in Greece between May 2010 & June 2012 that is on going. This film contains videos and photos shot on the streets, often containing violence and paints a portrait of widespread economic hardship endured by a cities inhabitants. This film is part of an ongoing research project, which looks at the rapid structural changes which Greece is undergoing.
Produced & Directed by Ross Domoney
Interview: Dimitris Dalakoglou
Filmed, Photographed & Edited by Ross Domoney
As the Paralympic Games commence in just a few short hours in London, Anthropology News takes an anthropological look into the Games.
Emily Cohen creates a compelling photo essay in her recent Anthropology News article On Becoming a Colombian Paralympian. Cohen explains that in a country where landmines are still a commonplace in daily public life, “[t]his photo essay critically explores the visual politics and problems with representation in the competitive arena of disability sports in Columbia.”
Here is an excerpt:
Colombia, a country at war for over 50 years, has one of the highest rates of landmine injuries in the world. For decades, landmine victims remained outside of the nation’s popular consciousness. Today, landmines and rehabilitation medicine profoundly shape public life. This photo essay critically explores the visual politics and problems with representation in the competitive arena of disability sports in Colombia. I include stills from my fieldwork and ethnographic film depicting soldier amputees who aspire to become star Paralympians and yearn to qualify for the London Olympics. In my fieldwork, soldiers incorporate industrial prosthetics into their bodies through strenuous daily exercises and talk about their dreams of not only walking “properly,” but also becoming agile sportsmen. Through interweaving text and video stills, a story unfolds about how commercial medicine, humanitarian activists, disability movements and the military mobilize individual masculine desires to be agile – how they arouse nationalist sentiments around human capacity, sportsmanship, and a “disabled” person’s ability to exceed “normal” human capacity. As much as Paralympic events inspire hopes for overcoming the adversities of war, they also displace the daily realities of landmine injury in Colombia that not only affect young agile men who can succeed in the Paralympics, but also many civilians who are women, children, and the elderly.
Read the entire article on Anthropology News.
Read more sports-related articles in the new online summer edition of Anthropology News.
During this week there has been quite the conversation about adjuncts and their working conditions in the press. These articles have lead to further conversation in the blogosphere in regards anthropology adjuncts and anthropology in academia in general. Here is a round up of the conversations:
The Adjunct Scramble by Kaustuv Basu in Inside Higher Ed
How Universities Treat Adjuncts Limits Their Effectiveness in the Classroom, Report Says by Audrey Williams June in The Chronicle of Higher Education
The Closing of American Academia by Sarah Kendzior in Al Jazeera
Less Than Zero Anthropology by Eliza Jane Darling on Zero Anthropology
Anthropology is the worst college major for being a corporate tool, best major to change your life by Jason Antrosio on Living Anthropologically
From the conversations, there seems to two camps. One with a negative future on academia in general and the success of students pursuing a career in academia. The other with a positive outlook on the field of anthropology due to its versatility and broad scope of skills the discipline can provide; however, also recognizing that adjunct positions are challenging.
Is academia “less than zero” like Darling suggests? Is academia what we make of it as Anderson suggests? Is academia in need of change in order to meet the needs of underemployed graduates as Antrosio suggests? Or perhaps a bit of them all?
Filed under: Anthro in the Media, Commentary | Tagged: Al Jazeera, anthropology in academia, Audrey Williams, Eliza Jane Darling, Inside Higher Ed, Jason Antrosio, Kaustuv Basu, Living Anthropologically, Ryan Anderson, Sarah Kendzior, Savage Minds, The Chronicle of Higher Education, underemployment, Zero Anthropology | 11 Comments »